Chris Paul scored 28 points and Dennis Schröder added 27 of his own as the Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24) rallied from 18 down in the first half for a 105-104 victory on the road over the Boston Celtics (42-21) in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence .
- 1st Quarter: OKC went on a 12-0 run to take a 28-20 lead with 1:16 left in the period. Boston finished on a 6-1 run, but the Thunder led 29-26.
- 2nd Quarter: Boston hit 5 straight threes to take a 63-45 lead with 1:08 left in the first half. OKC then scored 7 straight to finish out the second quarter, but the Celtics led 63-52 at the half.
- 3rd Quarter: The Thunder came out strong and outscored the Celtics 31-21 in the period, and OKC trailed just 83-84 headed into the final frame.
- 4th Quarter: There were 11 lead changes and 6 ties in the final period alone, but the Thunder was able to finish out strong and come away with the 105-104 win.
Similar Situation, Same Result
The Thunder trailed by 1 headed into the final period, but that’s nothing new for this team. Deficits don’t affect this team like they do others, and the stats prove that.
For the 16th time this season—a league-high number—the Thunder was able to come away with a win despite trailing to starter the 4th quarter. That’s twice as many as the next team.
Just when it looks like the Thunder can’t pull off another comeback, they go and do it, and while this type of basketball is not necessarily sustainable come playoffs, it certainly is entertaining.
Too Many Turnovers
Coming into tonight’s matchup with the Celtics, the Thunder was averaging just 13.4 turnovers per game. On Friday against the New York Knicks, OKC turned it over just 4 times. That was not the trend tonight, unfortunately.
After giving it up 4 times in the opening quarter, the Thunder turned it over 6 more times in the second period, allowing the Celtics to build a sizable lead.
The second half was a different story as OKC was able to flip the script on the turnover battle. The Thunder still gave it up 8 more times to bring their total to 18, but after Boston turned it over just 2 times in the first half, OKC harassed them into 11 second-half turnovers, giving the Thunder an edge.
Moving forward, taking care of the ball has to be a focal point for OKC. Giving the ball up creates easy transition opportunities for opponents, and the Thunder is not much of a fast break team on offense, so they cannot allow themselves to get beat on the defensive side of transition basketball.
The Thunder is now headed home where they will get ready to take on the Utah Jazz (41-22) on Wednesday night. The Thunder and the Jazz have split their 2 meetings so far this season, both of which were played in Salt Lake City.
Depending upon how the Jazz’s game against the Toronto Raptors goes tomorrow night, the Thunder could be moving up the Western Conference standings. If the Jazz lose tomorrow night, and the Thunder beats the Jazz on Wednesday night, then OKC will be sitting at 4th in the West.
Tip-off for that game is at 7 PM, and it will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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